A few weeks ago I went in to Kmart to check out the Doubles Event and see if there was anything worth my while. While I looked over my coupons to figure out what I could get for free I couldn’t help but watch the people around me. The store was insanely busy which was abnormal for our Kmart, and everyone had carts that were completely overflowing. Of course my mind goes straight to a super sale or if there was some awesome coupon….but on a closer inspection I realized their carts were chock full of toys and trinkets and a while mess of stuff that no one actually needs.
I know I know, I’m a snoop, but I watched this people head with all these things to the check out and spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on expensive toys that would be outgrown in a couple of months. Then I thought about my little stash of gifts at home and I was happy because I had finished shopping for one person on my list…and I was all done with Christmas shopping.
For the last 2 years my family has done a “secret santa” gift exchange. We aren’t too big a family yet (just 6 of us) but it still has been beneficial! So all we have to do is get a gift or a few gifts for the name we pick (we have a $50 limit) and that’s it! Me and the hubby still like to buy everyone a little treat for a stocking stuffer but other than that, between the two of us we spend only a little over $100 on gifts.
When I was growing up we did get toys for Christmas gifts. I remember getting maybe one toy that was really neat and the we would get things like art kits, socks, or new pjs. Things we needed.
Now I realize that the secret santa thing isn’t for everyone. My little brother and sister (who are 11 and 9) do not participate in our secret santa yet. My parents get them something and me and the hubby get them a little something as well. My mom usually asks that we get them something educational or something that they need, rather than a toy that they will get tired of in a couple weeks. (And since they don’t read the blog: ) I can tell you we got my little sister a new cd player because she’s still using the one I had when I lived at home and we got my brother a metal detector at a black friday sale so we can teach him how to treasure hunt!)
And as for our secret santa’s… we each make up lists before we draw names so that person has an idea of what to get us. I have no problem putting down things I need. (New cookie pans! Mine are warped something awful!) My secret santa also listed things that he/she wants instead of random things they think are cool.
I love this concept of giving. To actually get things we need instead of something that we might think is cool but then gets shoved in the back of a closet a few months later. Thinking back to all those people at Kmart and the piles of toys in their carts, you just know that next year you will be able to find those toys on a rummage sale or at a thrift store. Personally I’d much rather get someone something they really need and can use rather than that toy that will make you cool for a day, and then gets lost in the shuffle.
Well there’s my two cents! What about you and your family? Do you buy a bunch of gifts? Do you buy the latest coolest toys? Do you buy anything at all?